Friday, July 15, 2011

Arresting Bees

It sounds weird to arrest bees that roam around freely but Som Bahadur Praja, 27, does this job immaculately.

When he sees the swarm of bees, he chases them throwing fistful of earth continuously upon them.

If any earth particle strikes queen bee, she falls on the ground and all the bees come down to cover and protect her. Then, Som delicately collects the bees in the container using his hand. He also employs different tactics to collect bees. Just pick up the queen and put her in the container and all the bees come to container to protect her. All the bees stay intact until queen remains on the container.

Recently Som, while he was in jungle, collected a bunch of bees in the basket. He explained villagers how he trapped bees and people enjoyed seeing a basketful of bees.

Next morning he transferred all the bees to improved beehive that he had made himself. He said that bees would fly away if they do not like their new home (beehive). He kept these bees in the beehive that had been emptied by previous bees.

Traditional wooden beehives

People in hills generally keep bees in traditional beehives: in hollow wood and inside wall. There is a wooden cover at the side of cylindrical wood which has to be removed to extract honey.

Beehive in stone wall

Small space for beehive with wooden cover is made in the stone wall while people build the house. These local bee speices are called cerana (Apis cerana) which produce delicious honey. It is one of the good income sources for local people in the hills. Generally local people work with bees without protection. Do not bees sting people? "They do. But, I am used to it." Som replied with smile in his face.

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